You might not be able to hear this review over the sound of Pódium’s self-titled album. The Valencian five piece of Nick Trampolino and Salva Frasquet on guitar, Ximo Barceló on bass, Miguel J. Carmona on drums, and África Mansaray on vocals are not makers of fine crystal or delicate lace they are a whirlwind of sledgehammer-axes bludgeoning everything in their path. They have the attitude and urgency of The Ramones but whereas The Ramones curl their lips into sneers, Pódium are leaning full into your face screaming loud enough to cause your skeleton to jump out of your body – Looney Tunes-style – and run off over the horizon.
This is a full tilt, 27-minute thrill-ride that utilises tight distortion, with minimum reverb, on layered guitars doubled with the low rumble of abrasive bass lines and the kind of laser accurate drumming that is so frenetic your muscles ache just listening to it. It would take me longer to construct a sentence about these tracks than it would be to listen to them but with (translated) titles like Let it Burn (‘Que Arda’), Always Wrong (‘Siempra Mal’), Black Magic (‘Magia Negra’), The Night (‘La Noche’) and Psychopath (‘Psicópata’) you understand that tracks from this album are not going to feature on Now That’s What I Call Chillout anytime soon. Only on ‘Más Fuerte’ do the band ‘slow down’ (if your idea of slow is a sprint) and let their muscles cool down before launching into the unforgiving and visceral ‘La Noche’. It’s not that they are playing fast to demonstrate skill (although they are skilled) it seems more to do with releasing of pent up fury which accelerates their songs.
Pódium is an exhilarating album. The production is outstanding and manages to trap the energy of a thousand buzzsaw-wasps in its short running time. It’s like going down a 100 mph zipwire, through flaming hoops and the minute you land you immediately want to do it again. If you are looking for some nice piano sonatas then look elsewhere but if you want to feel every cell in your body resonate so violently that you’ll exclaim “Santa mierda!” then you have arrived at your destination.
Pódium is available through the excellent Slovenly Records who put out some of the best punk, garage, psych, and rock’n’roll around. The album is also currently available in a limited clear vinyl edition.
Review by Paul F Cook